I have particular gratitude for experts who are honest as well as competent, and none more so than for auto mechanics, since I am so ignorant about cars. Each time we move across country and look for a new mechanic, I wonder if we will ever be lucky again. Good news! Tom has looked after our two cars (Toyota Matrixes, one after the other) since we arrived back in the Bay Area in 2007. Last week I dropped by to ask about something and Tom's sharp eye and habit of scanning the car led him to notice a screw in my tire, which would soon have been flat. He had his guy mend it right there in a few minutes and sent me on my way without asking for payment. Two pieces of luck: 1) that Tom saw the screw, 2) that we found him in the first place. Not luck: Tom's competence, honesty and simple niceness. If either of us was Jewish I'd call him a mensch: the highest praise (and I'm not sure what either the English or Japanese translation of that is).